Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Year In Review (part 4)

Firstly, I've got a link to a video slideshow that I made for the Italy portion of my trip to Europe. We met up with a bunch of my family from Canada and the US in Rome and went on a private bus tour from Rome to Sicily. Here is the video.

Next, I guess some people already know, but I'm currently working at Money Concepts in the Penthouse of the Coast Inn of the North. I am working at Money Concepts Part time and I've just started a web design company. I'll keep you posted on the name as soon as I can get it approved and I get my business licence. I just realized the other day that I'll have to make myself a company webpage if I'm going to be a webdesigner. I guess it will have to be pretty sweet too...if I want people to be impressed.

I guess there was one more significant thing that happened in 2006. My cousin Noella came to Canada for Christmas. Her birthday is December 25th (hense the name 'Noel'la). She turned 17 this year and until she arrived in Canada, she'd never seen snow before (other than on TV). So being in Prince George was quite the shock to her system. But we still managed to do a bunch of super fun things while she was here. We did as many 'Canadian' activities as we had time to do: outdoor skating, snowshoeing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snomobiling, and snowball fights. It was tons of fun.

I didn't get to take too many pictures or video, but I'm planning on putting it together for short slideshow. The challenge now is to find a great song.

Anyways, I've decided conclude this year in review marathon with some things that I've learned over the past year. They're simple sentences that have a lot of meaning:
  • Live simply so that others may simply live.
  • Work to live, don't live to work.
  • God is God with or witout me, but who am I without God?
So that brings you up to the end of 2006.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Year In Review (part 3)


As is the link to the video slidehsow I made for the first portion of Tony and I's trip to Europe. I will post a link to the slideshow I made for the Italy portion later.

Upon returning from Europe I had to start looking for a job. Most people were asking me if I was going to start subbing as a teacher. I was a little hesitant to say yes because I didn't really feel like it was the right thing for me. After a lot of deliberation, I decided that I would put teaching on hold for a while and pursue some other things that had been on my mind. I spent part of every day looking for a job in Prince George that I might like. There were several places that I thought were pretty good and would be what I like to do: UNBC, The Airport, The Northern Health Authority, Shaw, and NoraTek. Lucky for me, a teacher from the University moved away a few weeks before he was supposed to start teaching a Web Design course using a program called, with the help of Tony Donovan putting in a good word for me, I managed to scoop up that job. It was a 5 night Continuing Studies course, so there wasn't too much to prepare for...I just had to make sure everyone was making progress and learning the program. In the process of teaching Dreamweaver I began to realize how much I like doing web design. I started working on a new version of the Camp Morice Webiste and found that the day would slip me by without even noticing. It was pretty fun.

I actually got interviews at Shaw and NorAtek as well. The Shaw people were looking for an installation guy (which means pulling wires and installing cable in other peoples dirty houses), so I wasn't really interested in that. And NorAtek brought me in for a 3 hour interview and offered me a job a few days later for $16/hr full time working from Tuesday to Saturday. I would be doing tech support on the phone and driving (using my own car) to clients workplaces to fix any computer problems they might have. They also told me that I would be doing some web development, but infrequently. It seemed like an OK job, and a good opportunity to learn a lot more, but the pay wasn't really what I wanted it to be and the work schedule would have interfered with a lot of the extracurricular things I like to do. I don't want to live to work...I want to work to live. Work should be something I enjoy doing, but it should not be the main part of my only needs to be a piece of the puzzle.

Up until the NorAtek job offer, I was considering starting up my own web design company. And after the job offer I was thinking that NorAtek would be a 'safer' choice for me because I would be guaranteed wages and hours; starting up my own company would bring no guarantees and it would completely rely on me to make things happen. Now, don't get me wrong....I know I have what it takes to be successful...I just thought that the NorAtek job would be a lot easier.

Now, at about this time one of the employees at my dad's Financial Planning office (Money Concepts) got accepted to be a firefighter in Fort St John (his dream job). So, Money Concepts was now short an employee. I approached my dad and asked him how many of the responsibilities of that job I would be able to take over if I were to come work there. He said, "Probably a little less than half...but then you'd be around for tech support and other things as well.....why?" After he said that the wheels were turning in my head an in less that half a second I had everything figured out. I proposed that I come work for Money Concepts part time and then take the other half of the part time to develop my web design company. I could even use the same office for both jobs. That way I could have some guaranteed hours in order to pay the bills and live comfortably, and all the money I make from the web design company would be a bonus (or part of my retirement...whichever way you want to look at it). I should probably note that living on a part time job is pretty easy when you've been a student for 6 years and figured out how to live with just the basics.

I will wait to the next post to reveal which choice I made....

(to be continued.....)

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Year In Review (part 2)


Later in June I got a phone call from a man who wanted to meet with me...his 22 year old daughter had somehow heard about me and he wanted to interview me to see if her and I were a good match (!). She heard that I didn't want to play the dating game, that I was single, and that I could cook. I guess that was enough to get her intrigued. I didn't really have anything to loose, so I agreed to meet with her dad so he could see what I was like. I kind of took it as a chance to interview him about his daughter as well. After a couple meetings with her dad, he decided that her and I should meet because he felt we were compatible with eachother (!). So we went on a few walks and talked about many things. The cool but weird part was that we were talking about really deep and meaningful things (not things like "how was your day?" "what did you do?" "did you hear about this movie?"....). The conversations were pretty deep but we still joked a bit and talked about funny things. So, all the while, I'm thinking...we make a pretty good match. But that wasn't what God had planned for her and I. A few weeks later she got accepted to a university in Australia and would be leaving mid-August. She felt that God wasn't really giving her a green light to start a relationship with me, so we agreed to remain friends and try to keep in touch. But it was quite the experience. I actually gave a talk at teen camp about this little episode.

The next big event that conspired in the life of Andrew was Camp Morice Teen Camp 2006. This camp was a memorable one for two different reasons. 1. each camp seems to get better each year and this camp was no was by far the best I've been to. 2. I had to start looking at the week through the eyes of a director because next year I'll be directing the camp (along with some other amazing individuals). The teen camp pictures can be found here. It was really a fun week, but was a bit weird without Peter there...he's been out at camp every year that I have except last summer.

At the end of July, my friend Julia from Germany came to visit. In August of 2005 we were billited in her hometown in Pflochsbach and she kept in touch with some of us through email and MSN. The plan was that she would come to Canada first and then when she flew home Anthony and I would fly back with her to Germany and begin our month long European trip. And so it was. She came to Prince George for a few weeks and then went to Kitimat for a week and then travelled with Anthony and I to Vancouver to catch a plane to Europe. During Julia's stay, she travelled over 5800km on the road, met more than 70 new people, and saw 14 cities, 2 bears, 2 grey whales, and 2 killer whales.

So then comes the trip to Europe. Here is the short form: Prince George-->Vancouver-->Victoria-->Vancouver-->Frankfurt Germany-->Praque Czech Republic-->Brno Czech Republic-->Dublin Ireland-->Naas Ireland-->Edinburgh Scotland-->Rome Italy travelling south to Sicily-->London England-->Vancouver-->Prince George. It was an amazing trip. We were so blessed to be able to go. The crazyest part of the whole trip was the accomodations and food while we were on our 10 day family reunion bus tour through Italy. We were in 5 star hotels most of the time, and the evening meals were absolutely rediculous. I gained 9 pounds in 10 days...just to give you and idea of what the food was like (keep in mind I can't gain weight to save my life). I made a short video slideshow of the first part of the trip and I'll post a link to it in my next post....

(to be continued....)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Year In Review (part 1)

I guess it's time for a bit of reflection on the year...and a wonderful year it was. For me, there have been a few life changing decisions made and a whole lot of life changing experiences.

The year started off with one month of school at UNBC to finish up the course requirements of the teaching program (except for the practicum course). Then began a grueling 10 week practicum where I was teaching 3 classes a day full time (Math 9, Computers 9, and Infotech 11). Infotech 11 was pretty easy to teach since most of the teenagers were mature and wanted to be there, but Math 9 and Computers 9 were a real challenge. In particular the Math 9 course was a Core Math 9 which means its a really basic version of the standard course. The kids in this class were pretty rough and had a whole lot of attitude. It took a lot for me to balance teaching them and managing their erratic behavior. One class, this kid stood up while everyone was busy working on their homework assignment and stuck his hand down his pants and back out through his zipper in his jeans and started waving it around. It was pretty hilarious actually, but it pretty much took away everyone's concentration and there was no other work done that class. What was even worse was that I had a supervisor from the university observing me that class, but he thought it was pretty funny too and it was a good chance for him to see just what I was dealing with on a day to day basis.

So those 10 weeks were pretty tough for me. And, although I love a challenge, I was beginning to realize that this wasn't going to be a career that I would enjoy day in and day out. You see, since the beginning of the education program I had some nervousness while in the practicum, but I thought that I would eventually get used to things and the nervousness would go away. But even on the last day of my 10 week practicum I still had a strange feeling in my stomach and I didn't know why.

After the practicum came the beginning of another tree planting season and my continuing mission to seek out new processes and new technologies to make the season go as smooth as possible for my employer Nata Reforestation. This past season was my 5th year working for Nata and it came with many more responsibilities. I told them at the beginning of the season that I would like to work a whole lot so I could save money for Europe and they were more than willing to give me more to do in order to facilitate that. During the season I managed to work a bunch of 16 hour days and several 10+ hour days. Those first two months of the season were great for getting my pocket book ready for the up coming trip to Europe.

Midway through May we decided to take the youth group to Victoria for a youth conference at St Andrew's High School. Let me tell you....that was quite the trip. Driving through the night, burning out the breaks on the 15 passenger van, missing the was pretty crazy. But we still made it to the conference in time and everyone that came said it was one of the most memorable trips they'd ever been on.

(to be continued....)